- Posted May 28, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Impact Your World
We Need Immigration Reform.
ROSWELL-----Our American society is one of the most diverse and developed in the world. As a nation of both laws and immigrants, men foreign from this land founded America. Men with a dream: men who risked it all at the chance for a better future. Our greatest leaders have established an environment where any individual, regardless of race, sex, or walk of life, can truly be successful if he or she works hard enough; at least that’s the theory. However, disappointingly so, our history of discrimination and xenophobia screams injustice regardless of how sweet our creed may sound. Is every man, woman, and child truly created equal or are some more equal than others? Although our nation has come a long way, currently the United States faces an unprecedented socioeconomic crisis if our government fails to enact extensive immigration reform.
I walk the halls of my school shaking hands, not knowing how many hands don’t have my rights and opportunities. I’m ignorant to the fear of deportation. I can sleep at night knowing that my family is blessed to have security in our daily lives. I’m convinced that some of those hands I shook won’t pick up a book and a pencil after high school: not because of lack of desire, but rather because of the lack of opportunity. These valedictorians, varsity athletes, and service members are not criminals. These are human beings just like us. These are kids.
Any individual student who has lived a righteous life, has contributed to our communities, and has led by example deserves nothing less than to be able to live-out the true meaning of our creed: that all men are created equal, with certain inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These undocumented students have been placed in such a distressing legal gridlock through no fault of their own. To penalize a soldier defending our rights overseas, only to come home to fight another war, is to penalize the American way.
As a nation, we must seriously consider the stability and solvency of our social and economic future. In a time when the market lacks skilled workers, such as engineers and doctors, and these critical jobs are being shipped overseas to foreign markets; and yet, we have a pool of eager young students ready to get an education and staff our labs. Immigration reform is an absolute necessity in order to maintain a stable market in the coming decades.
Fortunately, the solution is within reach: congress has the power to rid of this pending crisis. Immigration reform cannot be politicized for America cannot afford to play politics. Immigration reform has always had strong bipartisan support. The Dream Act, authored by Dick Durbin (D-IL), was originally introduced in congress back 2001. The legislation proposed a stable solution to the crisis by allowing well-qualified individuals, “The Dreamers,” to apply for conditional permanent residency, not citizenship. Democrats and Republicans alike have supported the Dream Act, including: Richard Lugar (R-IN), Mel Martinez (R-FL), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), and Harry Reid (D-NV). Having a piece of legislation is not the solution: it’s only half the battle. The bill embodies only ideas unless we can motivate the American people to become politically informed.
My solution to this problem comes in two steps:
First, compromise a great legislation: in order to get enough bipartisan support, the legislation must be moderate. It must have the power to legalize the extremely well qualified undocumented youth, pleasing the Democrats, while in conjunction enforcing serious border security to ensure that this problem doesn’t happen again, reassuring the Republicans. It’s all about marketing: the bill shouldn’t be titled the Dream Act or the Border Security Act, but instead a more neutral heading: the American Immigration Reform or AIR act. Nonetheless, a well-orchestrated compromise needs to be woven in order to mend our chronically ill immigration policy. Even if that means rising qualification, placing a low age cap, and overwhelming the border with stringent security: a compromise that will please both political parties must be reached.
Secondly, the American public must be well educated about the intentions and ripple affects of the bill. Of course, any bill that carries sweeping reform will endure a level of criticism: that is why educating the public is key. If the country can have an honest conversation about the implications of the AIR, Dream, or any other kind of congressional act that would put students in the university halls and secure the border, from an ethical, economical, and social stand point, then I strongly believe America will successfully tackle the current immigration crisis.
Because the immigrants who have made this country great define the American spirit, we owe it to ourselves to protect American values: that hard work always and will forever pay off.
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By Camilo Medina